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LEADING KY NEWS: MCCONNELL’S “DESPICABLE” AND “GROSS” VOTER SUPPRESSION CAMPAIGN SEEKS TO INTIMIDATE KENTUCKIANS


LOUISVILLE – Just when one might think he couldn’t sink any lower, Mitch McConnell’s negative, dishonest campaign to extend his 30-year record of failure in Washington has reached a new low. Yesterday, Kentucky learned that McConnell himself approved a campaign that is knowingly geared at intimidating voters and actively suppressing Kentuckians’ right to vote. McConnell knows he cannot win this election on the issues important to Kentuckians, so he has launched this despicable assault on the voters of Kentucky. The fact that Mitch McConnell personally authorized the Kentucky GOP to threaten and intimidate voters with jail time via fake government documents is beyond reproach.

McConnell’s shameful tactics – which appear to be a clear violation of both Kentucky and federal law – are causing voter confusion and concern at the local level and leading the news in markets throughout Kentucky. All Kentucky voters should know that this campaign by McConnell and his allies in no way impacts their eligibility to vote. This is simply the latest false, desperate campaign tactic employed by Mitch McConnell to hold his Senate seat.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING:

WYMT-TV: Election flyer causes concerns in Eastern Kentucky. “On the outside it reads election violation notice. However, once you open it up, it’s actually an attack ad by the Kentucky Republican party against U.S. Senate Candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes… Perry County Clerk Haven King says you should not worry if you received one of these. ‘This means nothing; I don’t know what people are trying to do. There’s nothing fraudulent to my knowledge going on and the people in Perry County if you are registered to vote, you will be able to vote and you will be able to vote at your precinct.’ 

We reached out to the G.O.P. and McConnell campaigns, neither returned our calls or emails.” [WYMT-TV, 10/31/14]

THE COURIER-JOURNAL: Alison Grimes to sue Mitch McConnell, state GOP. “Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign said it has filed suit in Franklin Circuit Court alleging that the Republican Party of Kentucky and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell are trying to suppress voter turnout in Eastern Kentucky where it sent official-looking mailers that say ‘Election Violation Notice’ on the envelope.” [The Courier-Journal, 10/31/14]

WFIE-TV: Grimes fights back against McConnell’s voter suppression tactics. [WFIE-TV,10/31/14]

WPSD-TV: Grimes files injunction against McConnell to stop voter intimidation. [WPSD-TV,10/31/14]

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Grimes campaign sues state GOP over mailings. “Grimes’ campaign says it will ask authorities to investigate whether the flyers circulated in several counties violated Kentucky and federal laws. The mailer is labeled as an ‘Election Violation Notice’ and warns recipients they’re at risk of ‘acting on fraudulent information.’ It says Grimes has tried to deceive voters in her campaign to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Grimes campaign manager Jonathan Hurst calls it an attempt to keep people away from the polls.” [AP, 10/31/14]

WDRB-TV: Stumbo, Grimes call for investigation of McConnell campaign mailer. “Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo calls a mailer sent out by the Kentucky Republican Party ‘false and fraudulent’ in a letter to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway. In the letter to Conway, Stumbo calls for a grand jury to investigate the mailer as a criminal action. … Stumbo wrote the letter Friday claiming the mailer is designed to look like an official government document and those responsible for the letter ‘have committed an actionable criminal offense.’ Both Stumbo and the Grimes campaign allege the large-printed ‘Election Violation Notice’ on the front of the mailer imitates an official government document and is intended to intimidate voters. The letter references KRS 516.030, which deals with forgery of government documents. Stumbo claims the letter represents ‘a written instrument officially issued or created by a governmental agency.’” [WDRB-TV, 10/31/14]

THE HILL: Calls from intimidated voters pouring into campaign, clerk’s office from eastern Kentucky. “Grimes’s campaign says they’ve received calls from voters in Eastern Kentucky concerned they may be breaking the law if they vote on Tuesday. They pointed to a local report out from Hazard, Ky., revealing the Perry County Clerk has gotten similar calls as further evidence the mailer could have an impact on voters on Election Day.” [The Hill, 10/31/14]

TPM: Grimes sues McConnell over ‘despicable’ voter mailers. “The campaign of Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has filed a lawsuit to stop Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign from distributing a mailer that it says amounts to illegal voter intimidation tactics. The mailers have the words ‘ELECTION VIOLATION NOTICE’ sprawled at the top and attack Grimes for spreading ‘fraudulent’ information.” [Talking Points Memo, 10/31/14]

SALON: Mitch McConnell’s sick new low: New mailers expose the GOPer’s shameless voter suppression tactics. “Indeed, it’s hard to see the mailers as anything but a shameless effort to suppress voter turnout.” [Salon, 10/31/14]

Chris Hayes tears into McConnell for blatant voter intimidation. [MSNBC, 10/31/14]

THE HILL: Grimes campaign files suit to block McConnell mailer. “Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes’s campaign has filed an injunction to prevent Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) campaign and the Kentucky Republican Party from distributing a mailer it says is intended to suppress turnout in Eastern Kentucky. And the campaign has filed suit in Franklin Circuit Court to prevent the McConnell campaign from issuing any further mailers, alleging in the complaint that the mailer is intended to ‘defame and injure [Grimes] specifically and to further impair her election campaign.’” [The Hill, 10/31/14]

McConnell’s Kentucky GOP threatens Grimes voters with fraud charges—just for listening to Grimes. “The mailer looks official. It has big letters marked WARNING and ‘ELECTION VIOLATION NOTICE,’ seemingly designed to make you think you’re the one violating something, and warns of a ‘possible fraud being perpetrated.’  But when you open it, it turns out to be a mailer from the Kentucky Republican Party and Mitch McConnell’s committee warning you of ‘fraudulent information’ being spread by the campaign of his opponent, Alison Grimes.” [Daily Kos, 10/31/14]

HEADLINE: How not to cite a fact check. “But a reader in Kentucky sent The Fact Checker the following photographs of a mailing by the Kentucky GOP, on behalf of McConnell. The Fact Checker is used to seeing fact checks cited in political advertising and in political debates, but this is a new one. ‘You are at risk of acting on fraudulent information that has been targeted for citizens living in [insert] county,’ declares the front of an envelope marked ELECTION VIOLATION NOTICE. Just to be clear, The Fact Checker is not part of some government agency — and politicians make false statements all the time. For some reason, the mailing does not mention the many Pinocchios that the McConnell campaign has received as well. So, for all the political consultants out there, let’s not try this gambit again. It makes The Fact Checker cranky.” [Washington Post Fact Checker, 10/31/14]

HEADLINE: Alison Lundergan Grimes calls for federal investigation into McConnell voter intimidation. “Sen. McConnell is taking a huge risk by openly violating state and federal law. The fact the McConnell campaign chose to go down this desperate path demonstrates that the election in Kentucky is very close. The race is close that intimidating a few thousand voters into not showing up at the polls might make the difference between victory and defeat.” [Politicus USA,10/31/14]

McConnell intimidates voters with illegal mailer. “The official mailer…is labeled on its envelope as containing information relating to ‘facts related to a possible fraud being perpetrated on citizens across Kentucky.’ It also includes the specific county that the voter lives in with the warning that ‘you are at risk of acting on fraudulent information that has been targeted for voters living in [county name].’ The envelope also contains a warning about the federal penalties for obstructing the mail. Inside though, the message is anything but official.” [Daily Beast, 10/31/14]

HEADLINE: McConnell campaign’s new dirty tactics. “Apparently, Mitch McConnell is not feeling secure in his ability to win in Kentucky and it seems that his campaign is resorting to some pretty unsavory tactics. It seems that some suspicious mailers have been received by a few Kentucky voters.” [Daily Kos, 10/31/14]

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